NRL Panthers 36 - Raiders 10 at full time
Toyota Cup Raiders continue hot run
11 April 2011, 10:00 am
Fullback Nathan Massey starred as the Raiders’ under 20’s made it four wins in a row with a comprehensive 26 point win over the Penrith Panthers at Centrebet Stadium.
Massey strongly pressed his claim for a first grade debut whilst Josh Dugan is out injured, as the emerging star scored two tries and ran 194 metres in the 44-18 victory.
The former Bulldog is pleased to be back in his preferred custodian position as he believes he is “more of a supportive player instead of setting up the play.”
“They [Furner and Hamilton] want me to keep getting involved from the fullback role after playing five-eighth in the first couple of games.
My combinations are slowly building but I’m just trying to give my all in every game and play consistently good football. I’m loving it down here at the moment.”
Coach David Hamilton was happy with the win but warned his troops to “enjoy the win because we’ve got some tough games coming up in the next couple of rounds.”
The result was extra special considering the Raiders didn’t have a genuine hooker playing after Matt McIllrick broke his ribs at training. McIllrick is expected to return in four weeks time.
Massey opened the scoring in the 16th minute after a sublime offload by bookend Shannon Boyd put the fullback into open pastures. Massey then beat the Panthers fullback with some fancy footwork to celebrate the 40 metre movement. Chris Medcalf converted.
Harry Siejka made Canberra pay after they failed to complete the corresponding set of six when the talented half put on a run around play and then dashed through the Raiders defence to score. Siejka converted his own try.
Had it not been for the booming boot of Siejka, in which he continuously found open space, Massey would have caused much more damage to the Panthers.
Sam Williams, however, gained the upper hand in the individual contest creating two tries for Paul Vaughn and Massey late in the first half.
Massey’s try was a gem, with Williams chipping over the defence 40 metres out for Massey to regather and brush the Panthers’ fullback to score. Medcalf converted both tries to extend the lead to 18-6 at half-time.
Vaughn scored his second five minutes into the second half when the big front crashed over again off a Williams’ pass. Medcalf converted.
“It’s really good playing with Sammy,” Vaughn said. “We’ve got a good combination as we’ve been playing together since under 16’s so we know each other’s game.”
Early ball from Jack Wighton allowed Michael Chee Kam enough space to attract both the Panthers’ outside backs before flicking a ball out to Matthew Allwood to cross in the 53rd minute. Medcalf missed the conversion from out wide.
Williams then ticked the scoreboard over, laying on tries for Haydon Hodge and Medcalf with wonderfully weighted kicks. Medcalf converted both tries.
Widely renowned for their attacking ability, Canberra were thoroughly impressive in defence only conceding the one try in the second stanza when Vaipuna Tia Kilifi barged over off a short ball from Siejka in the 71st minute. Siejka converted.
“We definitely know how to find a try line, but defensively I was really happy with the boys. They were really testing our right edge out in particular but the boys worked really hard for it [the win].”
Wighton finished the scoring in the 74th minute and was desperately unlucky not to score his second four minutes later after he was beautifully cover tackled over the sideline by Robbie Mate fielding a kick and racing 99 metres.
The win was soured somewhat by an injury to Hodge, who is expecting an extended period on the sideline.
“It’s tragic to win a game like that and have Hodgy do his ACL,” Hamilton said. “We’re not too sure how long he’ll be out for but that sours it [the win] big time.”
Vaughn, who was a colossus up front with two tries, 24 tackles and 169 metres, has no doubt his former housemate will bounce back. “It’s going to be a really tough time for him but he’s a good player and very strong mentally. He’ll be a better player for it.”
Source: www.raiders.com.au - Canberra Raiders News Headlines